When it comes to flag-waving…

As a rule, The Leader steers clear of international politics; even the Canadian federal scene seems too remote to deal with much. Our reasons are perhaps not that sound, but why spend time fussing over things that are largely unpleasant, disappointing and which you couldn’t influence even if you wanted to?

That’s why, for example, we never felt inclined to comment on the murderous, decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland. There seemed no solution to it, so what was the point? If we had commented, it would have been to simply say: ‘Why can’t people just find a way to get along?’

There seemed no hope of that happening, but somehow, almost miraculously, the opposing camps in that part of the world seem to have found a way to stop blowing each other up and start talking to each other instead.

Could this ever happen in the Middle East? Probably not without a lot of (unlikely, for now) concessions happening, on both sides. Or all sides – maybe there are more than two.

Why this comes up is somebody took the trouble to plaster pro-Palestine posters up around Slave Lake recently. They are free to do so, of course, but there are a few things worth bearing in mind.

One is whether in the big picture it has a chance of doing the slightest bit of good. Probably not.

On the other hand, it does stands a chance of doing some actual harm, as a polarizing, alienating force in a community that doesn’t need any such thing.

Still, the argument can easily be made that to do nothing is to be complicit in all the death and destruction Israel is raining down on Gaza. Likewise the outrageous attack by Hamas on Israel, that sparked this latest round of conflict.

Voices need to be raised, the argument goes. Governments need to know that people everywhere find this unacceptable.

No argument here. Go for it, if you think it will do any good. As noted, we think it unlikely.

But now that the cat is out of the bag locally, so to speak, let’s consider a point or two. Some of these posters contain a new slogan that indicates the people doing the posting think Israel should cease to exist. If they want regular Canadians to support the Palestinian cause, they are going about it all wrong with that sort of rhetoric.

We think our government, for what it’s worth, should be putting whatever pressure it can on the warring parties to stop trying to destroy/demonize/colonize and figure out a way of sharing the land, peacefully. Calling for, or believing in, the utter destruction of one or the other is stupid, reckless, un-Canadian and unwelcome.

We get along pretty well in Slave Lake, Alberta, and we’d like it to stay that way.

Share this post

Post Comment